Over the years there have been lots of bad advice about wedding DJs. So many times, DJs can be one of the last vendors picked for a wedding, and when the budgets are limited, some couples go for the inexpensive route rather than to change up their budget to accommodate true professional DJ. But this gem from G.M.A. about iPod Weddings is a bit of a doozy.
DJs are great, but for a cheaper music option, use your iPod. That way, you can customize your own playlist and save yourself about $5,000 on a DJ or band – and you’ll be guaranteed to get the music you want. – Good Morning America
So let’s break this down some. Now while there are DJs out there that do cost $5000 (or even more), there are many DJs that are at different budget levels and offer tremendous quality and value. $5000 tends to be on the very high end in most markets. So the premise that you are saving $5000 on a DJ for many people sends a false message that DJs are out of the range of affordability. It’s almost a strange discussion to have because in a lot of cases DJs are fighting the stigma that “all DJs should cost $500 or less” when in fact most DJs in that price range offer a super-basic and unreliable service that is usually detrimental to the bride and groom.
In addition, while people can have iPod weddings, you also need to bring proper amplification, which will set you back a bit of money on rentals. Then you have to really dedicate someone to sort through your iPod at various times in the night. So now you are bringing on all these additional responsibilities to yourself or your wedding party when you should be really enjoying the best night of your life.
And for the statement that “you’ll be guaranteed to get the music you want” is just misdirected. If you hire a professional DJ for your wedding, then that DJ will consult with you to not only ensure that you get the music you want, but will also make sure that it’s appropriate with radio-friendly versions of the songs, will know what songs you don’t want, and will have the expertise to read the crowd and craft the music to ensure that everyone feels included. If you did go the DIY iPod way and had this playlist of music, what happens when your crowd does not respond to a song, two, three, an entire period or genre of time? A professional DJ will get around those issues.
And this does not even tackle the biggest glaring things, a wedding DJ does more than just press play. There are so many interactions necessary between the venue, photographer, videographer, caterer, etc. You will be taking on far more tasks than just worrying about songs that people may dance to.
So what is the best advice? I recommend the following:
- Draw up realistic budget expectations for your DJ. In general sub-$1000 DJs are likely to be lacking things like insurance, a legitimate library of music, or the experience necessary to help with all the other things you haven’t even thought of.
- Interview a number of DJs to get a feel for their personality and professionalism and secure your date early.
- Take these iPod weddings and other shortcut articles with great skepticism. Your wedding is one of the most important days in your life and the wedding music is often the most remembered aspect of a wedding.